NORC at the University of Chicago is pleased to present this draft site visit report outlining findings from our site visit to community-based health centers that are members of Community Partners HealthNet ( CPH) a federally funded health center controlled network (HCCN) based in eastern North Carolina. NORC conducted this site visit under contract with the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation ( ASPE) at the United States Department of Health and Human Services as part of our project entitled Assessment of Health IT and Data Exchange in Safety Net Providers. Meetings with four health centers as well as network leadership were conducted the week of October 13th 2008.
This report summarizes findings from this site visit as they relate to the major themes to be explored in the project including the opportunities, challenges and barriers associated with adoption of health IT generally and clinical health IT applications in particular as well as the use of standards-based exchange of health information. Wherever possible we draw on comments made during meetings with clinical leaders, executive leadership and IT specialists to understand the perceived, anticipated or actual impact of health IT on the quality efficiency and effectiveness of health care delivery. We present our findings in four sections. First we present information on the background and history of CPH and the health centers we visited as part of the study and their current status with respect to health IT adoption. We then outline their experience with adopting and using health IT, providing details on specific applications including EHRs and practice management systems, and their motivation for adopting health IT. A third section discusses challenges and enablers to effective use of health IT. Finally, we end with summary conclusions and additional questions to be addressed in subsequent site visits and as part of the final report for the project.